Heartsick – Written by Chelsea Cain

Gretchen Lowell is a beautiful serial killer that cons her victims into doing things for her or with her, followed by their demise in a slow. deliberate way. Archie Sheridan is an experienced cop who unknowingly falls under Gretchen’s spell. Archie wakes up groggy with a body on the floor beside him in a place he did not recognize. How did he get here? Gretchen had placed her services as a psychiatrist to help Archie and the authorities find the many victims that were still missing. Gretchen «helped» Archie all right to the point of him being so drugged up that he could not think straight but he did recognize a beautiful woman that was controlling him and brutally attacking his body with various weapons including nails through his rib area.

Then when she got Archie to the edge of death, she changed her mind and decided to save him. She took him to the hospital and turned herself in to the authorities. She had a connection with Archie that she did not have with anyone else. Archie eventually recovers to the extent he could resume his detective duties but his body would always be wracked with pain thanks to Gretchen. While in prison, Gretchen would only talk to Archie during which time she would divulge the name or names of her victims and where they could be found. Archie was falling for Gretchen even though he was married and divorced from Debbie, who he still had feelings for, and he loved their children.

Susan Ward was a young, brash, and wild reporter for the Oregon Herald who wanted to go places fast but her young and wild appearance turned off many. But she did wrangle a chance to work with the task force that was working on finding Gretchen’s victims. Archie did not really want this young whippersnapper working with him but when Susan showed some smarts he gave in and allowed her to work with him and the task force, sometimes sorry he made that decision.

This leads to a terrific story that I found hard to put down. Chelsea Cain is an author I never heard of before but I am very aware of her great work now. I was very fortunate to read her follow-up book, «Sweetheart» that picked up intensity right where «heartsick» ended. You will not be sorry you purchased this book but you will not be able to close your eyes and go to sleep!

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How To Strum Guitar – Part 1

Learning how to strum guitar is one of the most fundamental aspects of the instrument – it needs lots of time and patience to master. Unfortunately there are many guitar courses which neglect to devote sufficient resources towards teaching this important topic and ultimately it’s the students which pay the price. In this article series we’ll look at the most important strumming patterns to learn, how to strum correctly and some great beginner songs to practice with.

Firstly it’s important to state that while guitar chords are important you should never forget that they are only half the picture. In order to be able to play songs on guitar, you also need to have mastered strumming. Many students incorrectly believe that in order to play lots of songs you need to know lots of different strums but this is simply not the case. Luckily we have something called «Universal Guitar Strums» and you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs with just 3 or 4 of these in your arsenal.

These kinds of powerful strum patterns are extremely versatile and they’ll enable you to play many different songs all with the same pattern. They are very useful and essential knowledge for all beginner guitar students especially if you’re starting out on acoustic guitar.

The key to learning how to strum guitar is to practice the patterns very slowly over and over again. When you practice things slowly your mind will record everything you are trying to do perfectly and you’ll find that this is the best way to learn how to play anything on guitar. In part 2 we’ll discuss the technical aspects of guitar strumming.

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Short Breaks in the Capital – Choosing a Hotel in London

The rising cost of air travel has put UK city breaks firmly back in fashion, and with a multitude of crowd-pleasing attractions and affordable travel links to the rest of the country, there’s never been a better time to take a short break in the country’s capital.

Its spectacular West End productions, historic buildings, grand palaces, spellbinding museums and pioneering art galleries ensure London offers something to appeal to everyone.

And whether your budget is lavish or shoestring, you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay, from fashionable boutique hotels to ancient converted buildings and modern masterpieces.

Piccadilly makes a perfect base for theatre breaker’s and shopping fanatics alike. It’s ideally placed for bustling Oxford Street, home to Selfridges and a myriad of fabulous shops and department stores, while the hip hangouts of Soho and Covent Garden are also nearby.

In the evening, you’ll find the bright lights of London’s famous West End are just a short stroll away. Here you can catch a show, see a musical, visit the opera or laugh the night away with the country’s top comedians.

And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, head for Leicester Square to sample delicious international cuisine or innovative cocktails at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars.

If you’d rather explore London’s historic buildings, look for hotels around Westminster. From here you can visit Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and nearby Buckingham Palace, then cross the bridge over the Thames to the London Eye and take in the city’s majestic landscape.

Some of London’s best museums are located in South Kensington, just south of Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the Earth Galleries Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brompton Oratory.

Art buffs should stay near Southwark on the banks of the River Thames – the iconic Tate Modern is just off the nearby Millennium Bridge. Visitors can take a short ferry ride between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain galleries, while to the east of Southwark lies the Tower of London, one of the most compelling and historic buildings in the city.

If you’re after pure luxury, seek out hotels around the upmarket neighbourhoods bordering Hyde Park. Most have stunning scenic views and its proximity to nearby green areas like St James’s, Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens make it a perfect base for relaxing strolls and picnics.

North of Hyde Park, the leafy Regents Park makes an excellent base for visiting the the must-see Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. Tussauds also offers some great time-saving packages combining the museum with other attractions like the London Eye and and the London Dungeon – not for those of a nervous disposition!

It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you plan to do before you book a hotel in London. Taxi’s around the capital can be very expensive, and choosing the right base for your short break will help you reach most of your destinations on foot and take in some spectacular sights on the way!

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Manchecter United V Everton Preview (Monday Night)

United officially start their Premier league campaign on Monday night against Everton. After last season’s dramatic final day title loss to City, United must want to get a good start this time around.

United performed well in most of their pre-season games. Their only loss came against Barcelona in a curtailed penalty shootout. Most of the players looked in good touch. The defense looked weak however, and we leaked in a lot of silly goals throughout pre-season.

The good news is that most of the Squad is fit and available for the first match of the season. Darren Fletcher still remains absent with a stomach condition. He did play in the midweek testimonial but looked really thin. He will have to do a lot of fitness and strength training before he can step back up on the pitch.

With the signing of Robin Van Persie almost done, United arguably have one of the most potent strike forces in the premier league. What needs to be seen is how well he partners with Rooney up front.

Everton are always a tough opponent, especially at home. We need to be careful not to attack too much as we could get hit on the break. We need to keep a patient build up and try to break them down with our wing play. Steven Pienaar is big threat down the left wing and needs to be kept in check. They way he ran the show at Old Trafford last season really amazes me. Whoever of Rafael or Valencia starts at right back will have to do a good job.

Anderson looks set to start in midfield along with Cleverly or Carrick. Nani and Young should start on the wings with Welbeck and Rooney in attack. Kagawa looked really bright in the pre-season matches however I think he will start on the bench and come on later. United now have good strength and depth in their squad. Many fans are calling for a new signing in center midfield. I think Sir Alex is content with the midfield and might give a few chances to the youngsters throughout the course of the season

Really hoping to see a good game and a good result to start of the premier league season with.

Probable starting line up:

De Gea, Valencia, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Welbeck, Rooney

My Prediction:

United to just nick this one with their superior attacking line up. Everton 1-2 Man Utd

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